Privacy/Interest along fence ideas

mdameronFebruary 6, 2013

I live in Fort Worth and am wanting to add some privacy and something nice to look at for the back yard. We are on a budget so we will be buying young plants and just letting them grow.

My wife wants to have just a row of skyrocket-type junipers or cypress trees, but I think that is because she doesn't know of more options. I would prefer some variety and that's why I'm making this post.

The best picture I could find of our back yard is attached. The picture is of the rear right corner. It is a small suburban lot. The fence I want to plant along is the left, back, fence. It is 60' long and runs north and south. We have dogs. That dog trail is still there but the yard is in much better condition. It is still dirt along the fence, though (that is due to the fence being moved).

There is a young Bradford pear where the star is on the picture. This past year I put in several red yuccas, lantana, Indian Hawthorn, and vines along the fence. Worst idea of my life; the dogs trampled half of them. It's as if I did nothing at all.

I want to go with trees and large shrubs. The dogs won't trample those. Because we have dogs, I would like to try to not use up a ton of yard space. I'm willing to lose 6-8' along the fence, put preferably not much more. Is it possible to have a "cottage garden" or mixed privacy screen along 60' of fence while not being very "deep"? We're not looking for complete privacy, as our budget won't allow it. But as you can see, something nice would be a welcome change.

I've done some research on plants that get 6'+ tall and 8' or less width and I have this short list of plants I think look nice and apparently are suitable for our climate:

crape myrtle
Texas redbud
Rose of Sharon
red tip photinia
Various Junipers/Cypress

But I don't know if I just buy one or two of each and plant along the fence...? Might look stupid? Also, since the fence is north/south, until the plants are taller, they'll get sun from noon till about 6:30 pm. Some of them not shaded by the house will get 8 hours. Not really ideal sun but the plants that the dogs didn't destroy did just fine.


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Most of your choices are good ones. I don't like the photinia, though, because they get a disease in their roots and die, and there's nothing you can do about it.

You could add wax myrtle to the list, and there are a lot of antique roses that would look great and give you blooms most of the year.

Vitex is also a good choice, it will have blooms a lot of the year, and it spreads out rather than going straight up, so it will cover more area.

Both of these will get taller than 6', but aren't tall trees.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:29AM
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How about the Chaste Tree, very drought tolerat and the Mexican Bush Sage. Then maybe some bush salivas like 'hot lips' and some agave.

You will get alot of hummingbirds/butterflies by the way if you plant these

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Would I plant all these plants in a row?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Rather... if I did plant them in a row, which is what I suppose must be done for privacy, would it look good?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:43PM
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you could use them as privacy, space them about 12-15 feet apart and then they will grow up and form a canopy. Then you could underplant them with salivas, agastache, Flame Acanthus, agastache. You will have tons of hummingbirds/butterflies...It will be some updates later on.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:37PM
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Plant a mock orange in each fence corner, they get a good 8-10 feet tall and when they bloom in the Spring you'll think you're in heaven. I'd replace that new Bradford pear with something else though, when they bloom it smells like dead fish.

Mock orange:

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Might want to try 3 evergreens like Eastern Red Cedar or Arizona Cypress in corner to block 2 story house.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:37PM
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If you use crape myrtle I would definitely use the bigger ones like Muskogee or Natchez so that they can grow taller than the fence.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:36AM
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I apologize if I let anyone down, but I succumbed to the price and ease of red tips. We are newlyweds and won't be in this house for longer than a year or two, so we opted to not spend a lot on a more elaborate setup.

9 red tips, a second carolina jasmine for our trellis, and a small carolina jasmine for a shepherd's hook in the front yard was less than $100. I was busy for hours yesterday. Luckily we had rain the night before so the digging was easier than it could have been.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red Tips

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Some of the plants posted here are beautiful, and I will look into those when it comes time to move into our second, more long-term home. Only a couple of the plants I had on my list were even available, mainly due to it still being only February. I am impatient and wanted to get something started.

Thanks to all who've provided pictures or ideas!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:14PM
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